Seasonal nutritional status in Norway lobsters, Nephrops norvegicus (L.): are females nutritionally compromised over the winter?

Watts, A. J.R., Albalat, A., Smith, I. P., Atkinson, R. J.A. and Neil, D. M. (2016) Seasonal nutritional status in Norway lobsters, Nephrops norvegicus (L.): are females nutritionally compromised over the winter? Marine Biology Research, 12(6), pp. 563-572. (doi: 10.1080/17451000.2016.1174337)

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Abstract

Norway lobsters, Nephrops norvegicus, are sediment-dwelling decapod crustaceans that excavate burrows from which they make short excursions to feed by predation and scavenging. The females of this species are known to reside within their burrows for an extended period of time over the winter while brooding their eggs. The aim of this study was to assess the likelihood of these females being able to feed during this brooding period. Biophysical and biochemical measurements that had previously been shown to change with starvation under laboratory conditions in male N. norvegicus were taken for female N. norvegicus under similar conditions. These measurements were also compared in both sexes obtained from monthly trawl samples from the Clyde Sea Area, Scotland, UK, together with trawl composition data. The laboratory study showed that the hepatosomatic index, and the copper, lipid and water content of the hepatopancreas can be used as indicators of the state of starvation in females, as in males. In the wild, both sexes have reduced nutritional status during the winter, but not to the degree seen in animals starved for 20 weeks in aquarium trials. This study does not support the hypothesis that females cease feeding over winter, during their brooding period. Firstly, some females were unable to sustain ovary development during starvation under controlled conditions, contrary to field observations. Secondly, field data suggest that there is no sex-specific reduction in nutritional status.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Atkinson, Professor Robert and Neil, Professor Douglas and Albalat, Dr Amaya
Authors: Watts, A. J.R., Albalat, A., Smith, I. P., Atkinson, R. J.A., and Neil, D. M.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Cardiovascular & Metabolic Health
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Life Sciences
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:Marine Biology Research
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:1745-1000
ISSN (Online):1745-1019

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